Three Decades of Service in Rural India

Tags: Currents Catholic Church, Catholic Community, Faith, India, Inspiration, Media, Missionaries, Nun, Religious Life, World News

By Melissa Butz

Sister Crescensia Sun is a missionary sister who works in healthcare in India. 

The Sisters of Our Lady of the Mission provide everything from midwifery services to malaria treatment to anti-venom medicine for snake bite victims.

“I worked in another place in Bihar in North India, where we have a snake-bite clinic in this place,” she explained. “Many people are bitten by snakes. all types of snakes such as cobras, vipers, russel’s viper and krait to name a few. As you know, Hindus worship snakes, so they cannot kill them, even when they become victims of snakebites.”

The clinics where Sr. Crescencia and her fellow sisters work are in villages with no medical care. The entire congregation cares for more than 98,000 patients. 

“People in the villages are poor,” she said. “They cannot afford to pay for medicines and costly injections like anti-venom. We are not in a position also to get free to medicine, because we don’t have enough funds.” 

“One thing that kept me going was the sense of compassion that was growing in me, as I see and heard the cry of people in the village who have nowhere to go,” she said. 

Along with the medical demands, another problem is illiteracy. 

The sisters run a mother-child clinic, which now has 800 mothers involved. They educate the women so they can feel empowered and eventually work small jobs, but most importantly so they can care for their health and that of their children. 

“From the government side, we did not get much help, except the regular immunizations and some vitamins for the prenatal mothers, and also Vitamin A for the children,” she said. 

Sr. Crescencia described how this makes matters worse, especially since in her area 99 percent of the population has malaria and are resistant to treatment. 

She has been caring for patients for over 30 years. While in India, she looks to Mother Teresa for constant inspiration, putting love into each caring action she makes daily.